In October 1973, the fourth Arab-Israeli war broke out. And for the first time war was an Arab initiative, taking by surprise Israel’s military and security establishment, which had dismissed such a possibility. After short-term gains by the Arab militaries, Israel (with significant
In November 1971, frustrated by the failure of attempts by U.S. Secretary of State William Rogers
and United Nations special envoy Gunnar Jarring
to broker a political settlement between Israel and the Arab states, Egyptian president
When no Soviet response to the requests for arms had been received by the end of the first week of July 1972, Sadat decided to expel some 15,000 Soviet military advisers and experts working in Egypt. While the Israeli government interpreted this decision as the abandonment of the military option, the Egyptian president—facing growing Egyptian popular discontent with the continued state of limbo between war and peace and feeling that the U.S. administration had proven itself unwilling to take the steps necessary to make diplomatic progress—had arrived at the conclusion that a “limited” military operation was the only way to break the deadlock.
Egypt coordinated its planning with Syrian president
A week passed before Israeli generals recovered from this shock and regained the advantage on the military fronts. On 16 October, Israeli forces began their counterattack and succeeded in crossing the Suez Canal in the area of Deversoir. They proceeded south toward the city of
In response to the Israeli counteroffensive, representatives of the Arab oil-producing states met in
Resolution 338 was immediately accepted by Egypt, followed the next day by
After the cease-fire was imposed on all fronts, U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
intensified efforts to remove Egypt from the bloc of Arab confrontation states and to push it toward reaching a separate settlement with Israel. Sadat began moving down the path of the “step by step” policy formulated by Kissinger, agreeing on 11 November 1973 to a meeting between the Egyptian and Israeli militaries at Kilometer 101 on the
In opposition to this Egyptian unilateralism, Syria and the
Under intense U.S. pressure, the Arab oil ministers agreed to lift the Arab oil embargo in March 1974. At the end of May 1974, Henry Kissinger succeeded in bringing Syrian and Israeli representatives to Geneva, where they reached an agreement for the separation of forces on the Golan front. The next step was to reach an agreement in the
The “victory” achieved by the Egyptian and Syrian armed forces in the first week of the 1973 war, despite the ensuing Israeli military success, served as a remedy to the humiliation suffered by the Arab armies during the
As for Israel, the war was seen as bringing on a political and psychological crisis, resulting in the formation of a commission of inquiry headed by
Ashkar, Riad. “The Syrian and Egyptian Campaigns.” Journal of Palestine Studies 3, no.2 (Winter 1974): 15–33.
al-Bitar, Salah al-Din. “The Implications of the October War for the Arab World.” Journal of Palestine Studies 3, no.2 (Winter 1974): 34–45.
Heikal, Mohamed Hassanein. The Road to Ramadan. London: Collins, 1975.
Rubin, Barry. “U.S. Policy, January–October 1973.” Journal of Palestine Studies 3, no.2 (Winter 1974): 98–113.
Shoufani, Elias. “Israeli Reactions to the War.” Journal of Palestine Studies 3, no.2 (Winter 1974): 46–64.